(Sir) Noël (Pierce) Coward John Raymond - Essay

John Raymond

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Any discussion of the art of Noël Coward must necessarily turn on the distinction between 'Drama' and 'Theatre'—and the value, if any, of pure 'Theatre' considered as an end in itself. Pure 'Drama'—we are not flattering ourselves here?—we can all hope to recognise. Today pure 'Theatre'—thanks to the Arts Council, 'The Method', M. Ionesco, the spirit of the age, the 'comedies' of Mr Eliot and the fact that 'culture', like Honest Doubt in the nineteenth century and rational religion earlier, has become the obsession of the Higher Boredom—is far to seek. Soon it will be as dead as Queen Anne. The best work of our leading 'majority' dramatists—Priestley, Ustinov, Rattigan, etc.—is 'theatre' strongly tinged...

(The entire section is 741 words.)